SOURCE – Costco plans to start bringing back its legendary free samples next month with some changes.
The retailer suspended its popular samples in its wholesale clubs in early March over safety concerns with the spread of the coronavirus. Consumers mourned the smorgasbord of free snacks on social media, which was one of the first programs to be cut as the threat of COVID-19 grew.
But during Costco’s quarterly earnings call Thursday, officials said they were targeting a mid-June return of the freebies.
“We’re going to start doing some things in mid-June on a slow rollout basis in sampling,” Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti said. “I can’t tell you anymore, but needless to say it’s not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers.”
This country has been in dire need of good news lately, and I’ll be honest, I never expected it to come from Costco, but here we are, and I’m not complaining. Everyone’s favorite wholesale giant just gave us an Operation Dumbo Drop worth of good news, and I am welcoming it with open arms. One of the darkest days of my life came a few months ago when Costco said they were suspending free samples. I felt like, “What’s the point?” Not just the point of shopping at Costco, but more so the point of living. Those free samples are my life.
One of the reasons why this pandemic has been so difficult is because there’s no end in sight. Nothing to look forward to. We don’t know when or if sports will be back. When or if we’ll be able to vacation anywhere we want again. When or if just about anything. But now Costco is giving us something to grasp. Something to look forward to. Something to circle on our pretty empty calendars.
I also love how secretive the Costco CFO is being about how they’re going to be doing free samples moving forward. “I can’t tell you anymore, but needless to say it’s not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers.” The hell does that mean? I don’t know. But I’m intrigued. But the main thing I care about is that you find a way to give me all the microwavable hors d’oeures and the little paper cupcake wrappers they come in. I’m non-negotiable on both.
Or if the sample is a tiny Dixie cup full of whatever new flavor V8 Splash has come out with, then maybe they just pour it all into one of those giant water bottles that hangs onto the side of hamster cages and let us take turns sipping or something. Ok, that’s probably a bad idea. As I was typing it, I was realizing how counterintuitive it is. In fact, that’s probably less coronavirus conscious than just handing the mini Dixie cups out. So let’s scratch that idea. All I’m saying is just make sure we get our free samples back. Pre-quarantine, you could go into a Costco, make three laps around the warehouse and have yourself a full three-course meal. For free! And if you’re still hungry after, you could throw on a Berry Smoothie for $1.45 or a soft-serve ice cream cone for $1.35 at the food court. I mean, you probably have that much change chilling in the ashtray of your car.
Now I know there are some Karens out there who are probably boycotting Costco because they apparently make you wear a mask inside their store. But to that, I’ll merely quote the great Chazz Reinhold, “Good! Good! More for you and me.” If you have problems with the mask policy, there’s no better way of having your voice heard then by removing your mask and taking your business elsewhere. So do it! That’s just means more Totinos Pizza Rolls or Philadelphia Cream Cheese spread on a thin slice of bagel for me! If Ritz comes out with a new spicy cracker, you bet your ass I’ll be tossing two or three back before I pretend to consider buying a box. Will I? No, of course not. But I’ll act like I’m considering it in front of the hairnetted lady who just handed me the sample.
All I’m saying is Costco has fed me more meals than I deserve to have been fed by them, so I will gladly wear a mask, a straightjacket, anything they want while I shop in their store. Just as long as they bring that free charcuterie.
I was going to end this blog with a quote like, “Costco isn’t the hero we deserve, but it’s the one we need right now.” But apparently that’s not even the quote from The Dark Knight. The quote is “Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.” Not to go too far off base, but can we talk about that for a second? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? No? Am I a moron? Probably.
Long story short, thank you for giving me something to look forward to Costco.